Sorry this wrap up for Educate Yourself is so late this month but I just got some time to do it so now I am. So here we are done with the first month of the Educate Yourself Club and Iíd like to report that it was a resounding successÖbut it actually fell short a bit because of how busy my month was. We didnítí get an FNF or Failcast spot and itís really my fault for falling through on all this but this is a work in progress and this month I promise to try at least 1.1 times harder to actually make this happen. Other than these tiny, little, miniscule failures I would say the club was a resounding success in that (a.) I played through a classic game, (b.) other people actually wrote some posts up, (c.) I posted in the forums and (d.) I actually enjoyed it enough to continue on. So without further ado letís get the second month startedÖ
By talking about the first month!
I had never really played Kid Icarus beyond the third level of the first world. Once I started playing again I remembered why. That third level is ridiculously hard. In fact now that I have beaten the game, without any cheats (bow before me), Iím will to say that that first level is the reason the entire game has a reputation for being insanely difficult. The rest of the game, while challenging, really isnít as hard. So in view of what the club is all about Ė seeing why games are classics and learning about them Ė Iím going to discuss why Kid Icarus isnít that hardÖunless youíre a bitch. Youíre not a bitch are you?
To begin with weíll talk about the first world which is a vertical level in which pit must escape hell or Hades or whatever myth Nintendo wants to claim theyíre actually basing the game on. This world is hard, the first level is challenging, the second is aggravating and the third had me fake throwing my controller at the screen like I hadnít done in years. Then after all this you get to a maze like castle with no direction and any power-ups youíve gained removed, but more on that later. What makes these first levels so much more difficult than the rest of the game is that you donít have any upgrades and you wonít be getting any really useful ones until after the first castle maze. Instead of realizing this and making the beginning of the game simpler than the rest the designers just kept the difficulty and a standard level throughout the whole thing. Thus once you do get more life and more powerful weapons via not playing like an idiot the game actually becomes progressively easier instead of harder. By the last vertical level before the final one I was pretty much charging through with enough upgrades to be pretty much invulnerable.
So some tips on getting past that first world. Most people have problems in these levels with falling since the levels are constantly creating new pits or repeatedly getting killed by the seemingly endless procession of annoying enemies. Jumping and falling I canít really help you with. You gots to have some sort of skills or wonít be able to pay your bills, son. But the baddies, and subsequently your powering yourself up, are all a case of patience. The trick I found is that the bad guys do stop coming you just need to stand still and kill them all. Sometimes it takes a while, sometimes it doesnít. Either way you rack up points and you also get a bad guy free chunk of platform jumping until the next attack is triggered. The screen isnít scrolling up so there is absolutely no reason for you to jump upwards before you have to. The only time this strategy changes is when those fuckers come up from the bottom of the screen and start hopping all around. Then you run, you run and you donít look back until youíve got a safe spot to snipe them from. So there, youíre passed the third level of the first world and now all you have to do is find your way through the castle.
Which is a fucking pain in the ass and only really because of one simple reason. Eggplant wizards. Iím not sure if there has ever been an enemy more aggravating than these guys simply because they donít just kill you, in fact I donít think I ever died directly from an Eggplant Wizardís hand. No, instead they just render you useless, force you to travel back through a winding maze and find the Eggplant Curse Cure room, which you fucking forgot where it was because it was an hour ago and you werenít paying attention then and there are about fifty bad guys between you and that stupid bitch who cures you and does jack shit else (I mean really you just turned me from an eggplant into a human and you canít give me some life!!?) and then you realize you went the wrong way and you have to go back through all that same shit again and once you get to where you think you need to be it turns out that that room doesnít actually connect so you go down one floor and end up in a room with a bunch of monsters you canít dodge because theyíre flying around like maniacs with there stupid fucking single eyes or whatever and so your life gets drained to almost nothing but you make it through and you finally recognize where you are and you realize the cure room is right across the screen and there donít seem to be any monsters so you breathe a sigh of relief and then start walking but you forgot about the stupid, god damn purple flying snakes, that donít fucking fly, falling from the ceiling and just as youíre about to get cured and everything is going to be OK cause once you have your arrow youíll go reap your revenge on those bitch ass bad guys who attacked when you were clearly turned into a shithead purple vegetable, just before you reach that door, a snake falls on your head and you die and you have to start the entire flipping castle over and while you remember the first room and a few other rooms you really have no clue where the hell you are or what your doing so itís really just like starting over from scratch, but instead of the three or four life bars you made it in with you only have two and the life filling pond is twenty rooms away and you know youíll just have to meet up with some Eggplant Wizards and start the whole terrible cycle over again. Sorry, I had some aggravation built up there.
The point being patience will also get you through this. The patience to play that level 50 times over until youíve memorized the correct path and donít mind running back and forth between the Eggplant Wizard who keeps hitting you, the Eggplant Curse Cure room and the golden pool of piss that heals your life. In fact once you have that route mastered youíre pretty much invincible in the castles because you can just keep refilling your life and the game becomes much easier. Plus, usually the Eggplant Wizards signal that you are somewhere near an important room. All of this leads you to a castle boss which I find disappointing in every case because of the ease in which I defeated them. Even the final boss didnít stand up to the cruelty of the level design in this game.
Speaking of the final boss why does no one ever discuss the last level where Pitt busts out the old armor and wings and shield and the game suddenly becomes a shooter. A terrible, terrible shooter. I mean really. The controls are loose and sloppy, the enemies donít make sense and the level just repeats itself over and over (possibly until youíve scored enough points, but I wasnít sure). Itís like the people who were in charge of the first three levels decide to call it quits before the game was over because they realized they could never top the evil of the Eggplant Wizard so instead they just handed the game to a guy who thought it would be cool if blocks fell uselessly from the sky. Why take some of the most challenging platforming youíre ever going to find and then ditch it for some half assed shooting. Maybe they figured no one was going to make it there.
So those are my main points for Kid Icarus. Basically I loved it once I got good at it but that last level. I will now join other gamers who have played through the game in cursing eggplants and their wizards and also wonder why there arenít more games that scroll upwards constantly creating deadly traps below you. I mean really, that is an awesome game mechanic and it needs to be utilized more often.
Forum You can hear people bitch about those first levels in the Forums if you like.
Again, Iím sorry this kind of got away from me this month as I really didnít do a good job in keeping it fresh in everyoneís mind. I got a shit ton of new work to do but everything is ironed out now so this month Iím going to keep on top of the forum post, weíre doing FNF and I will make my computer record sound if I have to kick it off a building so Failcast will also happen. Tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on work, Iíll fill you in on what this months game isÖit starts with Splatter. No thatís too obviousÖit ends with house.